William Penn, the titular founder of Pennsylvania, once wrote about the then-new state: “I propose that which is extraordinary; and to leave myself and successors no power of doing mischief.”
For drone enthusiasts, the Keystone State has provided an “extraordinary” amount of UAV-related news over the past several months – most of which seems to focus on avoiding “mischief” and expanding new horizons in the industry.
For example, a Pennsylvania startup is working on new drone technology that “could be used in oil and gas operations for anything that is ‘dangerous or dirty to do by people,’” according to a June 16 report by WUAC-Philadelphia (as well as on DroneLife). Identified Technologies CEO Dick Zhang said the company’s quadcopters will be used to detect pipeline gas leaks or any problems with an operation’s infrastructure.
“We hear stories from [pipeline companies] where they’ll spend days trying to cover just a mile of pipeline in extremely dangerous terrain. Why put someone in danger when you can have a robot do it for you?”
Pennsylvanians are also leading the way in the hunter safety and poaching enforcement. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) deploys drones to keep an eye out for poachers. The campaign urges wildlife conservationists to “purchase drones for $324.99 as part of its online catalog, describing the ‘Air Angels’ as ‘The New Hobby for Animal Protectionists.’”
But state legislators fear the campaign could impede lawful hunters, leading Sen. Richard Kasunic and Rep. Gerald Mullery to introduce bills that would prohibit “using an unmanned aircraft in a manner that interferes with another person’s lawful taking of game or wildlife” and apply the same ban to anyone interfering with anglers as well.
To add to the UAV ups-and-downs in Pennsylvania, news that a “400-pound unmanned aerial vehicle crash-landed near an elementary school in Lebanon County” in April raised complaints from community activists and residents. “I have listened to it for the past couple of years and I was a little unsteady with it going over my house because look what happens,” resident Lisa Cooper told RT.com. “You just don’t know what it could have been.”
Jason is a longstanding contributor to DroneLife with an avid interest in all things tech. He focuses on anti-drone technologies and the public safety sector; police, fire, and search and rescue.
Beginning his career as a journalist in 1996, Jason has since written and edited thousands of engaging news articles, blog posts, press releases and online content.
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